When Chelsea Carpenter and Andrew Mitchell first met at a Halloween party in New York City, neither had any idea they’d be meeting “their forever.” It was 2015, and the two instantly hit it off after being introduced to each other through a close mutual friend. Fast forward four years, and Andy was planning a romantic proposal by the Hudson River – a prime NYC engagement spot.
“The love we felt all weekend was like no other.”
“We spent the whole day walking through Central Park,” Chelsea recalls, “getting drinks at a rooftop bar and our favorite walk along the Hudson River. It was the only day in January that we didn’t need heavy winter coats on a 60-degree day. Andy anxiously carried the ring the whole day without me knowing and wanted to keep the day just us two. As soon as he proposed, I felt a million different emotions at once.
We had been through so much together. I wanted to jump up and down because I had wanted this for so long and was so in love with Andy; but I was so nervous at the same time to be a wife. The excitement was so overwhelming that I forgot to say ‘YES’ and just wanted to put my beautiful ring on!”
From the start of the wedding planning process, Chelsea knew exactly where she wanted to get married, and proceeded to reach out to her wedding venue for 2021 dates. She also had her heart set on interviewing wedding planner extraordinaire, Sharon Sacks of Sacks Productions.
“We spoke with Sharon and fell in love,” says Chelsea. “We knew this is who was going to do our wedding! She has done unbelievable events but made us feel so special – like ours was the most important she’s ever done.”
Planning a wedding during the pandemic, of course, proved to be extremely difficult for the couple, and they had no idea if their wedding would ever happen. Andrew and Chelsea were in lockdown while booking a band, photographer, videographer, and all the other key wedding vendors they needed. Just five months before their wedding date, their venue cancelled all events for 2021.
After scrambling to figure out the next step, Chelsea’s dad suggested a destination wedding in Turks and Caicos. It’s a beautiful place that they love to visit as a family, and they had the right wedding planner on board who could make it all happen within a tight time frame of five months.
It was no easy feat to plan a wedding abroad in the midst of COVID, but Andrew and Chelsea finally felt optimistic. With wedding planners, Sharon Sacks, Robin Holt and their team taking multiple trips back and forth, they were able to strategize what needed to be shipped by barge so they could bring the couple’s Turks and Caicos wedding vision to fruition.
“We narrowed down our list,” Chelsea describes, “and began planning all of the necessary steps in getting married out of the country, such as every guest needing a negative test and COVID insurance to be let into Turks and Caicos. We wanted an entire weekend with our closest family and friends filled with love, fun, and dancing; and Sharon, Robin, and the team delivered every aspect of my vision!”
The couple’s destination wedding weekend in Turks and Caicos started off with a beach party, live DJ, and customized drinks. A rehearsal dinner was held at the gorgeous Grace’s Cottage restaurant, which felt like an enchanted garden. There were even two houses situated right on the beach, where the entire bridal party could stay and get ready.
This made for the perfect setting for the rehearsal dinner afterparty, which included fire dancers. With so many events leading up to the big day, all of Chelsea and Andrew’s guests had the chance to get to know each other on a more intimate level, which made their wedding weekend even more enjoyable.
“The wedding day was better than we could ever dream of,” says Chelsea. “It was on the sand but built on a platform that took four days to construct. Every single detail – including the illuminated floating globes, mirrored walkway, custom photo wall, candy plates, monogrammed napkins, gorgeous linens, silverware, and glass globes – had to be shipped from the U.S. It was my perfect vision all coming to fruition. The night was topped off with fireworks and an afterparty since no one was ready for the night and weekend to end! The love we felt all weekend was like no other. It was a weekend we thought many times would never happen but it ended in perfection!”
Location: Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos; Planning and Event Design: Sacks Productions, Calabasas, CA; Event Design: Revelry Event Designers, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design: Celio's Design, Southern CA; Flowers by EA, Turks and Caicos; Cinematography: Custom Made Productions, Beverly Hills, CA; Photography: Duke Images, Los Angeles, CA